Companies looking to outsource a call center or other functions in their business are very different and not all of them have experience of doing any outsourcing. Since they don’t hire or have change managers in their team, who would do everything right in the outsourcing transition process, they may end up with some mistakes, bigger or smaller. We’re exploring the typical mistakes during outsourcing so as to give you a powerful weapon to avoid the knowledge.
Outsourcing core functions
There are several things, which make your company a company. Holistic, genuine, different from others. These are decision-making, revenue and financial flows distribution, and planning. Basically speaking, you can’t outsource any of the mentioned without a large risk of losing your face, identity, and genuineness. Your company’s vision and strategy are executed exactly through these main functions, which you define, control, and have hands-on daily influence on. Thus, passing them, you pass your company away, so, it’ll be ‘passed away, which is, funny or not, dead. Most surely.
Instead, at the very beginning, think of passing to outsource daily routine, which drains you out, and which you hate. Or consumes a lot of your manpower, finances, or time. To name a few, these are contact center, sales, accounting, administrative mundane help and assistance, advertising, programming, manufacturing, logistics, shipping, lead generation, and scanning the market. These are also nice to start with today since the market of outsourcing of these functions is large enough & you find a nice contractor pretty fast.
Not paying attention to the competencies of your outsourcer
An outsourcing company, which you hire to handle tasks for you, shall be estimated very thoroughly and rigorously, as it will be your long-term partner. A fair share of your business’s success will depend on the quality of its deliverables. So, treat this choice the same, as you would treat hiring a brand new CEO/CFO, going to a new market with millions of dollars of initial investments, or making a huge rebranding.
The things you will have to learn about your future partner are:
- Relevance of experience required exactly for your tasks
- Market history and reputation
- Used technologies, personnel qualification, and processes
- Applied quality control procedures and their certification
- The ability to deliver the KPIs
- Ability to sign a binding contract (preferably, the one that would allow sharing your risks)
- Ability to scale up and down fast
- Integrity and continuity of their business model
Yes, the pricing
As you have noticed from the list above, we put pricing the last.
Although not least important, it still has to be considered among other factors, not becoming a dictating one. Since low pricing usually means worse quality, it shall be estimated only in the conjunction with other parameters of a business offer you’re getting from a contractor.
It’s natural to understand that if someone offers you something terribly suitable for your needs in time and quality, you should consider even a higher price of a contract than others would offer you.
It’s important to realize that although expenditure reduction is a frequent goal, companies strive to when planning to outsource, the gotten result in life might not be dramatically lower. Or at all. If you think, like, about 50%-75% reduction of running costs on some function only because of outsourcing it, that will be quite a mistake. The more realistic numbers would show cutting by 10 or 15 percent. Or 25 in the best case – but only with a thorough work on your side, aimed at optimization of the processes, your company’s structure, and personnel.
Giving everything away without monitoring how the process goes further
Not having control over what’s going on in the function that you outsource after the contract is signed is one of the worst business decisions. It’s like not taking care of a baby after it’s born. You do have to teach a baby how to live, control its development, help in sickness, and share its victories. To a much lesser extent but still, in the outsourced business function, you are controlling its quality, deliverables, KPIs, and solving the problems that arise at times.
But if you explicitly show that you don’t care, why shall the contractor care?
By saying ‘security’, we mean a scope consisting of:
- data in your software systems
- client data
- sensible data about your business know-how, technologies, applied unique solutions…
Basically, that’s everything connected to a commercial secret. Once it’s leaked, some of your competitors would love to grab it to beat you on the market. Some thieves even buy such information and data from unreliable outsource vendors, and some of the latter are specifically created to steal the data from the market leaders. Never underestimate the danger of this risk if you don’t want to find yourself in the trash bin of the market tomorrow after everything you do is copied from you and has stopped being unique.
This is practically implemented through access rights control, physical access restrictions, forbidding copying data, only granting a required share of data to perform a very particular piece of work, and logging all actions of users in the system to find a misusage, which could potentially bring damage.
Outsourcing the functions of a company for the first time is frightening. However, most modern outsourcing vendors with a fine reputation and large experience would love to assist you in the transition process to make sure everything goes smoothly. The first step is, however, yours, and we wish you courage in taking it!